A co-pilot thought the lead pilot was joking and continued to fly the plane alone. Only after the landing did it become clear: the chief pilot died of cardiac arrest.
It was meant to be just another day on the job for two pilots flying out of Blackpool on June 29, 2022. But what started as a harmless joke quickly turned into a nightmare for one co-pilot when he realized his colleague was not pretending to be dead after all.
In a shocking turn of events, the Air Accidents Investigation Branch in the United Kingdom investigated a tragic incident where a chief pilot suddenly dropped his head and his eyes remained open mid-flight. The co-pilot initially thought it was all a prank, but the reality hit hard when they landed and found out that the chief pilot had actually suffered a heart attack and died.
According to witnesses, the two pilots were talking to each other seconds before take-off when the chief pilot gave the co-pilot the go-ahead, saying “everything looks fine, there’s nothing behind you.” But moments after takeoff, the chief pilot’s head fell back, and the co-pilot assumed it was just a joke. Even when the chief pilot’s head later fell onto the co-pilot’s shoulder during a turn in the air, the co-pilot remained convinced it was a prank.
It was only upon landing that the shocking truth was revealed. The co-pilot’s colleague had passed away due to cardiac arrest, leaving everyone on board stunned and grief-stricken. What started as a harmless joke turned into a tragedy that no one saw coming.
The investigation report revealed that witnesses who had spoken with the chief pilot that morning said he seemed to be in good spirits and there was no indication that he was feeling unwell. Additionally, three individuals who had flown with him just before the incident reported that he had seemed fine and nothing unusual had occurred.